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First-half 2019 insured cat losses about $20 billion: Impact


Insured losses from catastrophes during the first half of 2019 were preliminarily estimated at $20 billion, 26% lower than the 18-year average of $27 billion, Impact Forecasting said in a report Wednesday.

Global economic losses from natural disasters for the first half of the year were estimated at $73 billion, 22% lower than the 2000-2018 average of $94 billion, the report said.

These totals are subject to change as losses further develop, Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development team of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, said Wednesday in its report Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2019.

“Please note that there is likely to be notable upward revisions for 1H insured payouts in both the United States and Europe,” Impact said in the report. “Large-scale events – such as ongoing flooding in the U.S. and severe hail and drought damage to crops in Europe during the month of June into July – will result in an extended period of farmers taking stock of damage to crop harvests and potential yields.”

“Until this occurs, and all claims are filed, it will take time to fully gauge the financial cost,” Impact concluded.

Impact estimates there were 163 natural disaster events in H1 2019, below the 18-year average of 180 and the median of 182.

The bulk of global insured losses, 66%, occurred in the U.S., while 78% of insured losses were the result of severe weather and flooding perils, the report said.

Of the estimated $20 billion in insured losses, severe weather caused $11.9 billion, flooding $3.5 billion, winter weather $1.8 billion and EU windstorm $1.7 billion.

There were at least 17 catastrophes that caused $1 billion in economic losses in H1 2019, with six each in the U.S. and Asia Pacific, the report said.

“While the first half of 2019 was not an abnormally costly start to the year for the insurance industry or federal governments around the world, it was notably impactful from a humanitarian perspective,” Steve Bowen, Impact director and meteorologist, said in a statement issued with the report.







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